Friday, August 14, 2009

Race, Gender and Sexuality

The battle over PropH8 revealed severe failings in the ability to mobilize across minority communities (leading to the erroneous and "the blacks made us lose!" claim. ) The gay community is too often lumped together as a bunch of well-off childless white guys from WeHo and San Francisco; in reality, there are men and women of all colors and economic groups under the umbrella of GLBT and we need to work together in all communities to make equality happen.

Writing in Salon, Pam Spaulding discusses the new HRC report on race, gender and sexuality.

In her excellent, excellent article , Pam writes
The key findings of the report:
  • Nearly all LGBT people of color say protections from violence and workplace discrimination are important; issues strong majorities of all Americans support in opinion polls. Violence and discrimination are also the most salient issues that connect three critical groups -- non-LGBT people, communities of color and white LGBT communities.

  • Religious attitudes are a major source of sexual prejudice. For LGBT people of color, many of whom are regular churchgoers, the conflict is acute. ....

  • LGBT people of color view the world first from the point of view of race and gender. Most feel there is as much racism and sexism among LGBT people as there is among non-LGBT people....

  • LGBT people of color are serious media consumers, but they do not find enough information or see accurate media representations of themselves....
....The findings are no surprise to me and are not probably a surprise to others, but where there is little agreement is the matter of who is responsible for effecting change (does this fall solely on the shoulders of out LGBTs of color, something tossed out there quite frequently when I raise the issue) and what are the methods of bridge building that need to be implemented. Take the quandry of the conservative black church, for instance.

Already fearful of losing connections, friendship and emotional shelter provided by their faith community if they come out, black gays and lesbians in the church now know that the homophobes in the pews and choirs, along with the bigoted pastors spewing hate from the pulpit, feel empowered to destroy those ties because of their own fear and ignorance. It makes you want to weep.
...the LGBT community rarely gets behind social justice issues of concern to minorities. Honestly, this card can be played legitimately - because it's true.
If we are to make this a civil rights issue, then we need to be concerned about everyone's civil rights.

Read the whole thing.

You might also checkout the essay about this topic, by actor Doug Spearman at the HRC Backstory

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